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Veteran Drug Rehab in New Mexico

Mental health issues man receiving counseling in New Mexico rehab center

Published: August 10, 2023

Substance abuse is common among veterans, likely due to the highly stressful and sometimes traumatic lifestyle that comes with their military service. These factors often drive former military service members to self-medicate.

For veterans who are living in New Mexico, there are many substance abuse treatment programs available to them. Many of these programs may be covered through their military insurance, like TRICARE, and VA health benefits.

There are different treatment programs that veterans can choose from, including inpatient and outpatient treatment, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs, sober living, and twelve-step support groups.

Learn about rehab programs for veterans in New Mexico, rates of substance abuse among veterans, resources to help you find treatment, information on insurance for veterans, and more.

Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Veterans

Military service members and veterans are often exposed to situations that are highly traumatic and stressful. These are situations that can cause life-long mental and physical injuries, which are risk factors for alcohol and drug abuse.

Mental health issues also frequently lead veterans to become addicted to drugs and alcohol, which is a big factor in why substance abuse is common among veterans.

Statistics on veteran substance abuse include:

  • Around 11% of veterans who visit a medical facility run by the VA have a substance use disorder.
  • More than 20% of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder also have a substance use disorder.
  • 4 out of 5 veterans have alcoholism.
  • Male veterans are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder, compared to their female counterparts.
  • 25% of veterans use illicit drugs.
  • Over 1 in 10 veterans who received opioids for pain management developed an addiction.
  • More than 10% of veteran treatment admissions in 2019 were for heroin use.
  • Veterans living with substance use disorders are more than twice as likely to die by suicide than the civilian population.

Scope Of Veterans In New Mexico

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, there are almost 150,000 veterans living in New Mexico. This means that a little over 9% of the adult population of New Mexico are veterans of the United States military.

Unfortunately, a major stressor that frequently leads to substance abuse is financial or job instability. In New Mexico, veterans are currently facing a 5.1% unemployment rate, and over 8% of veterans in the state live in poverty.

Another factor that may lead to drug and alcohol abuse is housing, or a lack of it. There are 22,735 veterans living in homes with serious quality issues, and 252 veterans are actually homeless in New Mexico.

Veteran Risk Factors For Substance Abuse

There is a high rate of substance abuse, and alcoholism in particular, in veterans and active duty military service members for many different reasons.

For former military members who were exposed to stressful situations like combat, or who had a difficult deployment, this can be especially true.

Risk factors for veteran substance abuse include:

  • Physical and psychological injuries from time spent at war
  • Co-occurring mental disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Chronic pain
  • Difficulties integrating back into civilian life
  • Homelessness
  • Difficulty finding and maintaining a job
  • Disability ratings

Addiction Treatment Programs For Veterans In New Mexico

If you or a loved one are ready to look for a treatment program for substance abuse, you may notice there are many different options to choose from. The first decision you will need to make is whether you need short-term or long-term treatment.

Most treatment facilities will start with medically observed detox, then they will determine your next step in care. This may include medication-assisted treatment (MAT), 12-step programs, or different therapy methods.

Treatment services veterans can expect to find in substance abuse programs include:

  • Medical detoxification
  • Inpatient treatment programs
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
  • Outpatient treatment programs
  • Transitional and halfway houses
  • Individual, family, and group therapy
  • 12-step programs
  • Methadone therapy programs
  • Behavioral health therapy
  • Relapse prevention therapy
  • Aftercare

There are also special programs for veterans who are facing substance use disorders, which are often run by other veterans with experience and connection.

Mental Health & Dual Diagnosis Programs For New Mexico Vets

Veterans who are living with a substance use disorder are often facing mental health issues as well. This condition is called a dual diagnosis.

Dual diagnosis programs will work to treat the underlying issues that may lead a person to self-medicate or use substances, increasing the chances of quitting substance abuse for good.

Mental health/behavioral health disorders that commonly co-occur with substance abuse:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic disorders
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Eating disorders

Most dual diagnosis treatment plans offer several different treatment options for veterans and people seeking substance abuse recovery.

Co-occurring disorders are often treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and other types of talk therapy and support groups.

Other options for treating co-occurring disorders include prescription medication for anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other evidence-based treatment options.

Where Can You Find Veterans Rehab Programs In New Mexico?

When you are looking for a drug and alcohol rehab center, you will usually find more options in major cities such as Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Santa Fe. Veterans can also find substance abuse treatment through most VA health care systems as well as in private rehab centers.

Resources for locating veterans rehab programs in New Mexico include:

Qualities To Look For In New Mexico Veterans Rehab Programs

When searching for an alcohol and drug treatment center in New Mexico, it’s important to make sure that the substance abuse recovery center you choose is reputable and high-quality.

Veterans may find that they feel more comfortable in veterans programs, which are usually run by other veterans who understand.

Signs to look for in a quality rehab program include:

  • Accreditations, typically through the Joint Commission or CARF
  • Certifications
  • Positive client reviews and testimonials
  • Evidence-based treatment programs
  • High success rates
  • Specialized programs for veterans
  • Low doctor-to-patient/staff-to-client ratios

Health Insurance Coverage For New Mexico Veterans Drug Rehab

Affordability should never prevent someone from seeking assistance with a drug or alcohol addiction. Veterans have many options available to them, including their military health insurance and VA health benefits.

Many addiction recovery programs for veterans will be partially if not fully covered through their veterans health benefits, TRICARE insurance, private insurance, and other financing options.


TRICARE is a type of insurance that works the same way Medicare and Medicaid do, but is only available for active military service members and veterans.

The type of coverage a veteran will receive works on a case-by-case basis, and will depend on a number of different factors

VA Health Benefits

If you or a loved one are eligible for health benefits through the VA, your substance abuse treatment expenses could be covered.

The amount of coverage a veteran will receive through their VA benefits will depend on each veteran’s case. Veterans will find that most inpatient and outpatient treatment programs are covered by the VA benefits.

Private Insurance Plans

Veterans who are seeking treatment from a private or luxury addiction rehab facility may find that their military insurance or VA health benefits will not cover the cost of treatment.

These types of rehabilitation centers will often accept private insurances, self-pay, and can offer financial assistance such as paying on a sliding-fee scale.

Barriers To Addiction Recovery For New Mexico Veterans

Unfortunately, even though there are resources available for veterans in need, there may be obstacles preventing them from receiving help.

Some of the barriers preventing veterans from addiction recovery include:

  • Lack of adequate mental health care
  • Long waitlists
  • Lack of support from friends and family
  • Lack of funding and financial resources
  • The stigma associated with seeking help

The good news is there are resources that are designed specifically to help veterans get over these barriers preventing them from getting the help they need.

Resources For New Mexico Veterans

The following organizations are available for veterans in New Mexico who need assistance. They have resources for veterans who need help with housing, employment, education, health care, mental health care, and more.

New Mexico veterans have the following resources available to them:

Find New Mexico Veterans Substance Abuse Treatment

If you or a loved one are ready to seek help for a drug or alcohol addiction, it’s important to know that you are not alone, and that help is available for you.

When you are ready to take the next step, call our helpline today to talk to an addiction treatment specialist who can help you find an alcohol or drug rehab center near you.

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